Mid-Week Quick-Toss – Draft, Corners, Bitter, and Standings

Do You Believe in Miracles? 

The Falcons are taking a serious beating by the hometown fans, rightly so for the most part, and are being given absolutely no chance in the game on Monday Night Football. That too is completely justified. But if all teams throughout the history of sports listened to what should happen, than some of the most memorable moments in sports would’ve never happened. 1980 U.S. Hockey Team vs. the Ruskies? Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson? AFL Namath led Jets beat the NFL Colts in Super Bowl III? Or even the Giants of 2007 being told to not even show up against the 18-0 New England Patriots. Sure, this is only the 7th game of the season and it’s a touch on the dramatic side, but the point is there’s a reason they play the games, so anything can happen. 

Draft  -  Hate to play the 20/20 hindsight game, because drafting any player always carries inherent risks and guesses just like anything else. And no one can ever account for injuries, as is the case with Peria Jerry and William Moore, who both are done for the season, but Chris Owens is perfectly healthy and hasn’t seen a glimpse of the secondary in live action. But take a look at some possibilities to spark some conversations: 

24th – Peria Jerry (DT), Falcons

25th – Vontae Davis (Starting CB), Dolphins

32nd – Ziggy Hood (Backup DL), Steelers

37th – Alphonso Smith (Backup CB to Champ Bailey), Broncos

40th – Ron Brace (3rd String DT), Patriots

41st – Darius Butler (3rd String CB), Patriots

42nd – Jarius Byrd (Backup SS), Bills

50th – Mohammed Massaquoi (Starting WR), Browns

55th – William Moore (SS), Falcons

61st – Sean Smith (Starting CB), Dolphins

90th – Chris Owens (CB), Falcons

92nd – Jerraud Powers (3rd String CB), Colts

96th – Keenan Lewis (3rd String CB), Steelers

94th – Ryan Mouton (Backup CB), Titans

119th – DJ Moore (3rd String CB), Bears 

Obviously, it’s easy to go back and second guess any picks after the fact, and Jerry looks to a great addition if he can come back healthy, just as Moore and Owens look to be solid additions as well. Add that to the fact that most of the cornerbacks are backups or even 3rd string, but the question is, would they remain there on our defense? The only one that’s tough to swallow: Sean Smith (6,4, 215, 4.5 40-time) and started week 1.  To say that the Falcons have gotten no contributions from this draft class is an understatement.

Cornerback Free Agent Signing – A continued look at some off-season cornerback signings to spur some further conversations. As of May 18th, the Falcons were around $20 million under the salary cap. Free agent CB’s: 

Leigh Bodden – (6’1, 193); 1 year, $2.25 Million – Patriots Starting CB

Drayton Florence – (6’0, 195); 2 years, $6.6 Million – Bills Starting CB

Andre Goodman – (5’10, 184); 5 years, $25 Million – Broncos Starting CB

Jabari Greer – (5’11, 180); 4 year, $23 Million – Saints Starting CB

Ronald Bartell – (6’0, 206); 4 year, $28 Million – Rams Starting CB

Kelvin Hayden – (6’0, 195); 5 year, $43 Millon – Colts Starting CB

Dominique Foxworth – (5’11, 180); 4 year, $28 Million – Ravens Starting CB

Bryant McFadden – (6’0, 195); 2 year, $10 Million – Cardinals Starting CB

Shawn Springs – (6’0, 203); 3 years, $10.5 Millon – Patriots Starting CB 

Some over-paid and some teams got a pretty good deal, especially considering that the Broncos and Saints are both 6-0, and the Patriots are 5-2 after picking up both of their starting cornerbacks off the Free Agent market. 

Speaking of Cornerback……. – Can we finally at least see what Chris Owens and Tye Hill have? Granted they may not hold much more help than we currently have, but can it really hurt to find out for sure? Can Jamaal Fudge or Antoine Harris take some reps at cornerback? Just asking. 

Bitter Much? – One of the key storylines to the Falcons-Cowboys game was of course Keith Brooking facing his old team after spending his entire career in Atlanta. It was obvious that Brooking more than relished the win over Atlanta, even going as far as flapping his arms like wings when he was 10 feet away from the play. Why the bitterness and anger? The NFL is a business and it was time to part ways, and better for both: the Falcons were able to rebuild and helped re-unite him with his former defensive coordinator and coach in Wade Phillips. He also got to change to a more suitable position as inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. Many players have faced former teams without feeling the need to act bitter. Did he want the Falcons to give him a huge contract just because he did great things in the past and was with the Birds for his entire career? Just ask Richard Seymour about loyalty, he who helped his Patriots to three Super Bowl rings. 2 whole tackles doesn’t merit an MVP performance, and acting like he was the big difference in the game. Many fans wished Brooking the best and may continue to do so. Obviously Brooking doesn’t feel the same way. 

Season Prediction Competition Update – A look at who’s doing what in the prognosticating department from our competition earlier in the year after a third of the season is over (missed games in parentheses): 

Perfection – 6-0

Russ, MRyan, SPS, WR, sportaree, Ed, Chris, JJ, CBrass 

5-1 – Almost Perfection

DW (Bears), Brian Hunt (Bears), Falconforlife (Bears), Birdman (Patriots), Nookah (Cowboys), JWW (Cowboys), Sarah B. (Cowboys), Joseph R. (Cowboys), Boxcarar (Panthers), Ed-Covington (Cowboys) 

4-2 – Just Like the Birds

Warbucks (Panthers, Bears), Dean21 (Patriots, Bears), Seminole (Bears, Cowboys), TBird (Dolphins, Patriots) 

3-3 – Right at .500

Lil’ Dave (Patriots, Bears, Cowboys), downsouthdirtybird (Patriots, Bears, Cowboys), A.Dylan Thomas (Panthers, Bears, Cowboys), BT (Pats, Niners, Cowboys), D3 (Dolphins, Bears, Cowboys) 

Let me know of any errors. By the way, only 11 out of 28 (39%) picked us to beat the Cowboys and 5 out of 28 (18%) thought we’d beat the Patriots.

Your Turn

-Will we shock the NFL world on Monday Night?

-What do we need to do for the big upset?

-Using 20/20 hindsight, who would you have drafted?

-What about the CB’s signed? Who would’ve fit for a reasonable price?

-Will TD have to spend the dough for a FA corner?

-Your thoughts on Brookings “performance”?

266 comments Add your comment

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:01 pm

Boxcarar

October 27th, 2009
11:13 pm

Not bi-lingual. Two. LOL

Boxcarar

October 27th, 2009
11:16 pm

D3,
Seriously,
Do we have that much money under the cap, or is that reserved for resigning the “Nasty Boys” and others going into 2010? Don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:18 pm

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:18 pm

Box you were dos!

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:22 pm

Hey whatever happened to Dean21 he was a regular??? JJ you are up late. It’s usually just me and Box.

Nookah

October 27th, 2009
11:25 pm

Shawty B, you are becoming a real comic on this blog. I just love reading your posts these days. LOL!!!!

Go Falcons!!!

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:31 pm

What up cagers?

Stirg, hope the family is ok buddy.

Shawty/Box, had to stay up to be with you guys/gals.

Nookah, missed the lyrics, thanks buddy.

Question, if they sign a guy, is he on the 53 roster or practice and why not the uga rb brown who was in camp all preseason?

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:32 pm

Thanks Nookah, trying to keep things light.

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:33 pm

We need corners. I wanted them to get Bodden in the off season, the man is a force.

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:36 pm

-NON FOOTBALL- skip daryld

Shaty, have your dogs gone out today?
I’ve walked playa 5x today and the old man will not go in the rain. We get to the edge of the overhang and he looks at me like: “you first dad, I’m not getting wet!” lol

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:38 pm

Box, been meaning to ask you how in the hell did you wind up out in the mid-west?

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:40 pm

RE: Non football content to follow…

Yes JJ I make them. Maggie seems to like the opportunity to get muddy and track up my floors!

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:42 pm

Also is Arkansas the mid-west or the middle of nowhere??? Are you at least in Little Rock??

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:44 pm

HOW? I cannot make my boy go in the rain? Sorry, go falcons!

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:48 pm

See I have a fenced yard, not a leash. So I get them all excited so they will forget it’s raining and then they run right down there, go potty then come back up and look all miserable. Then track up my floors.

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:51 pm

ahh…we’re leashed bound over here and although the radar has been clear for 4 hrs, the rain has not stopped! SW, what up with that?

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:53 pm

let me know once you have the paint, ill send the crew! ;)

Shawty B

October 27th, 2009
11:55 pm

I picked the color, probably buy paint Thursday and start primer then.

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:55 pm

SB, have u ever checked out jeff becks “Halleluijah” on youtube?

Boxcarar

October 27th, 2009
11:57 pm

JJ,
It was the job. Been out here almost 16 years. Unfortunately that is coming to an end. Was a plus for raising a son in smaller population.
Shawty,
Not too bad. In a bedroom community outside of Little Rock. Imagine Marietta to Atlanta, for geographic comparison.
I’ll be in Atlanta for X-Mas through New Year’s.

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:57 pm

switch to IM before D3’s wrath…lol

JJ

October 27th, 2009
11:59 pm

Box, thats what i guessed, completely diff than atl i bet, in a good way!

JJ

October 28th, 2009
12:01 am

We will def have a cage x-mass party- so sw/d3 can present the trophy!!! oh with wr help!

Boxcarar

October 28th, 2009
12:15 am

D3,
Please elaborate on your concerns. You have my email address. I’m here to help.

Shawty B

October 28th, 2009
12:32 am

We need to play NO like Miami did in the first half but then sustain it.

Wabe

October 28th, 2009
12:40 am

The need for corners is obvious. But what about the D-Line? This Falcons D-Line doesn’t generate anywhere near the pressure necessary to cover up for our horrible corners. They could help these corners out a bit if they could apply consistent pressure. But so far this season, it’s been a guessing game. They’ve played well against certain teams, but haven’t generated any kind of pressure against others. I think they really need to survey the situation up front. Although we’re midway through the season, there are options. Maybe run a little 3-4 here and there to mix things up and to help generate a pass rush. I completely understand that the Falcons need the personel to run these types of looks, but I think we have it. For obvious passing situations – it’s worthy of trying. How sick would it be to have Abe and Sidbury come off opposite OLB spots? I mean we saw JA55 drop into coverage a couple times in the Dallas game. I think he’s more than capable of holding down a OLB spot if we ran 3-4 SITUATIONALLY! Sidbury resembles JA55 – in that I mean he’s a hybrid type player. I HONESTLY THINK THIS IS SOMETHING WORTH TRYING! WE’RE GETTING BEAT UP ON DEF ALREADY AS IT IS – TRY SOMETHING NEW!!!!!

I’m not suggesting we completely change our base from a 4-3 to a 3-4, though I wish we would. But I think we can all agree that we haven’t generated enough pressure on critical passing downs rushing 4 or even blitzing. Maybe throw some new looks out there to help the pass rush and confuse those offenses. I think they’ve got to find better solutions on the defensive side of the ball. Blitzing is a high-risk: high-reward type ordeal – and in the Dallas game, we sent heat and left it one on one on the outsides a couple times and got NO PRESSURE and we ended up getting burned.

Please BVG! Do something – ANYTHING – to help this DEF not look as bad as it is.

JJ

October 28th, 2009
12:43 am

Wabe, nice post-what do we have to lose? I’m out, cia on flip!

Wabe

October 28th, 2009
12:45 am

Offensively, I have no idea what the hell is wrong. Correction, I know we’re not running the football effectively, I just have NO CLUE why. It’s just mind-boggling to watch this offense be so incapable of putting together 4 solid quarters of football. This team will go as far as this offense takes them.

OPEN UP THE PLAYBOOK MULARKEY!
FIGURE OUT WHAT’S STALLING OUR RUNNING GAME AND GET THE PROBLEM FIXED!

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
12:46 am

Shawty B…you ring??? Wassup with you and the rest of the cagers??
I must say I’ve missed the cage and I’m glad to be back…was out of town for a while on work assignment…so busy is the word for my life!
I was able to get back for the Chicago game and back out again! Assignment over = D21 is back!

I’ve actually been trying to catch up from the some of the posts i’ve missed. The birds failed to show up in Dallas, let’s hope they get off the plane in the Big Easy!

D3, as most reg. cagers have come to expect…you;re still the MAN!!
Shawty B, I did hear about a meet for the Giants game, I tried to find you at the Bears game, it’s was just way too many shawtys present!! lol

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
12:49 am

Boxcarar, I see you still holding down the night shift my man!! so, do we end the streak of not loosing 2 games in a row or the buck stops on Monday night?

Shawty B

October 28th, 2009
12:51 am

Welcome back Dean21. Wow that’s twice I have called and been answered!! I asked for Stirg Sunday and he appeared now you too. I must be magic!! or psychic.

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
12:54 am

It’s that spirit & magic you carry!! You are our first Queen to hit the cage, so you ask and hopefully you will receive. I read about your job situation, so sorry to hear that…I’m sure something positive will come your way soon!!

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
12:56 am

Well, it’s look like my dawgs & Falcons could pull major upsets this weekend or they both could tank and drive me mad! (Georgia Regional style).

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
12:57 am

Wabe, whats going on man? I feel ya on that one…one can wonder what Coach M. is thinking by not allowing this offense to run wild i.e. the 49ers game!

Shawty B

October 28th, 2009
12:59 am

Dean21 at least I have an interview tomorrow. Glad you are back and yes a meet up to watch the Giants game. We just have to pick a central local.

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
1:06 am

Good deal!! My fingers are crossed for ya!! What about Taco Mac at Phillips Arena?

Shawty B

October 28th, 2009
1:11 am

That one is kinda small, Lindbergh is HUGE. Where do you live? We have JJ off Holcomb Bridge, I’m just off Shallowford & 85, D3 is in Tucker, WR is up by Mall of GA. That’s all I’m sure of right now.

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
1:16 am

I actually think the one at Lindburgh is perfect. I work near that one and is one of my fav spots.

Ed

October 28th, 2009
1:31 am

Great work as alway D3. I think the Falcons stuck to their guns a little too much in looking for speed in the draft. I was big Sean Smith fan but he had a 4.5 forty time and the Falcons were in search of a lower time. Smith started on an excellent Utah team and has great size for a corner. Being able to read offenses and being in the right position makes up for some lack of speed.

To this point in the season the draft has to be judged as a huge dissapointment. Both Jerry & Moore had previous injury issues but TD rolled the dice much in the same way he did with Sam Baker. Baker also got injured last year but so far so good this time around. Only time will tell, but as you said, it doesn’t look good when Chris Owens can’t even see the field (and Tye Hill must be a bust).

Dean21

October 28th, 2009
3:34 am

I actually predicted us to win this game but I don’t see how if they play like they did in Texas. We need help on the O & D lines. We need pressure on the QB. MTurner has issues! Our CB’s will need a chiropractor if D.Brees is not pressured.

I have a feeling that our coaching staff has set Chevis Jackson, Chris Owens and now Tye Hill back a little especially on the confidence wagon!! By leaving these guys on the inactive list & bench may have caused several problems than none. Unfortunately, we as fans will never know if one of them may have gotten an attitude from this situation or simply lost confidence in their ability. I truly don’t understand trading for a guy and simply leave him on the bench, very bizarre. Why draft a young corner, play him in the pre-season and not even mop up duty on a regular basis.

I trust in this coaching staff, just something to make you go hmmmmmm! I hope I’m wrong and the non-playing has made these guys more hungry to play and make plays when the chance finally comes, so far it’s yet to be seen…so far, they have yet to be seen……

Great stuff D3 as always, glad to be back home in the cage!!

The Aints are licking their chops for this game. They surely will try to embarrass us, so if the Falcons don’t play with heart, soul and with a lot of pride, the birds will leave with broken wings and their egos will be drowned in very hot sauce from a old fashioned butt kicking.

tom shoupe

October 28th, 2009
4:55 am

Brooking should be embarrassed by his behavior. He was not a significant factor in the Dallas win. So immature and unprofessional. Falcons need to put Grimes on the bench. He gives it all he has. he just is too small and the opposition takes advantage of him. Turner’s lack of performance is partially due to the predictability of the play calling on early downs. Defense knows who is getting the ball. In addition he typically gains more yards to the outside rather than the inside of the line.

BT

October 28th, 2009
6:44 am

I too, feel KB56 should be embarrassed for his behavior.
After him dropping the Falcons playbook on Wade Phillip`s desk and flapping his arms like a ten year old retard.
At one time, I thought there was a place for Brooking in the Falcon ring of honor.
Not any more, the only good luck (I wish him) is finding a place in the Cowboys ring of dis-honor.

The Real Falcon

October 28th, 2009
7:00 am

Anyone who thinks that playing two safeties who came off the street at corner, not there natural position, doesn’t know pro football. You don’t make a bad situation worse with bad decisions. If the coaches don’t have Hill and Owens in there must be good reasons. It’s like you think they don’t want to win. Stop the panic!!

WR

October 28th, 2009
9:11 am

Morning Cagers, I see the discussions last night didn’t stray to far from the burnt unit, the Falcons miniature DBs. I pray that Owens and HIll at least get a shot, as sad as it is to say Brent Grimes should stick to special teams and maybe the nickel position, he should not be a full time started, heart and hussle can only go so far. As for Houston, well that would take up to much time and space, just give Hill or Owens a shot maybe both, but something has to give.

Stirg, we’re from the same neck of the woods bro. What part of Eastpoint/College park are you from. I was born in the heart of Eastpoint at South Fulton Hosp. grew up mostly off of Old National when Old National actually was a good place, most of my relatives continue to live in the area and surrounding areas from riverdale to forest park up to camp creek and down as far as fayetteville.

LRD

October 28th, 2009
9:11 am

I want to say, we can take the Saints on Monday… but my brain is trying to tell me otherwise… follow the heart, or follow the brain? I say follow the heart, but put your money on the brain.

Little sarcastically…. maybe we are holding off on Hill and Owens to use them as our “secret weapons” on D, providing a spark and a kick to the pants of Houston and Grimes ….
Can see it now..Saints 2nd possession, here comes Hill after our D gets burned for a TD on the 1st possession.. and Hill picks off Brees on the 2nd play, giving the Falcons the spark to win this game… (hey you gotta day dream now and then!)

And on the D backs, realistically, what do we have to lose at this point? Are they going to wait to the Skins game and then try them out against Campbell and his lack of deep threat?

Master of the obvious, but we have to get our run game kick started again. Snelling, Turner, someone… I want our smash mouth drive the ball down their throat running game back…and Snelling gave us more flashes of that last week then Turner.

D3: thanks for the blog! good job

jeff

October 28th, 2009
9:39 am

I agree to some extent with most about the O” line and “D” line needing help. But- Lets face the facts.

Fist- Snelling from what I have seen is that he is running the same plays behind the same “O” line as Turner. It just appears Snelling is running with more of a purpose this year than Turner. I said yesterday and I will say it again. Last year Turner punished defenders when he got to them, this year he is avoiding as much contact as he can. If he is indeed hurt and his chest injury is bothering him, then we need to sit him until healthy so he isn’t a liability for the offense or risks further injury.

Second- everyone including myself want the “D” line to get more pressure and sacks on the QB. Let face it. It is the secondary’s job to help with that. They have to be able to cover a receiver more than a second and a half. Most receivers run the 40 in 4.3-4.5 range. Well, if the can’t cover but a second or two they are already 20 yards doen field. I don’t know of many “D” lines that can get to the QB that quick. It is more like 3 to 4 seconds. As is stated all of the time this is a team game, and they both have to do their jobs. And it is clear the personnel playing CB this year isn’t what we had last year (Foxworth) thus the problems on “D”.

Coop

October 28th, 2009
10:28 am

D3 – Nice blog. Not sure that beating the Saints on Monday equates to beating the Russians in 1980… but looking at our CBs and Drew Brees’ performance thus far, it will certainly feel like it.

Flappin' Falcon

October 28th, 2009
10:56 am

Will we shock the NFL world on Monday Night?
Probably not, Saints at Home are tough. But I would not be shocked if the game was close. It all depends on our offenses ability to hold the ball and grind out long scoring drives. In other words, keep the ball away from Brees & Company as long as possible. I do not think our defense will have any success at stopping their offense. The Falcons are exhausted as this is the 4th road game in 5 weeks (with 2 opponents that came off bye-weeks). The schedule softens up dramatically after the New Orleans game, so a win is not critical…but it sure would be nice.

-What do we need to do for the big upset?

Long, grind ‘em out drives that result in touchdowns and major time of possession. Keep the ball out of Brees hands as long as possible.

-Will TD have to spend the dough for a FA corner?

If the right player is available that fits our system then, of course.

-Your thoughts on Brookings “performance”?

Brooking is a washed up old vet. His classless wing flaps, etc. reminded me of a mindless, old man trying to show off his toothless gums by chewing on a rotten apple. A sad pitiful site. His 2 tackles summed up his sad performance. On the other hand, he did an exceptional job of preparing Dallas for the Falcons…ala Benedict Arnold.

Brian Hunt

October 28th, 2009
11:53 am

It looks like both games against the Saints will be a loss for the Falcons. The Saints strength (passing game) is the Falcons biggest weakness (pass defense). With the running game sputtering, it will be hard to play ball control offense to keep the Monday night game close. A victory there would be the equivalent of the Miracle On Ice.